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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
Program Website: imagearts.ryerson.ca
Administered by: School of Image Arts
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

The curriculum in the School of Image Arts is designed to educate artists, storytellers and digital media practitioners. The programs lead to careers in film, photography, digital media, visual arts and the cultural industries.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses including Grade 12 U English.

Notes: 

  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English. 
  2. The grade required in the subject prerequisite (normally in the 65-70 percent range) will be determined subject to competition.
  3. Applicants will be required to provide samples of work appropriate to the option they intend to enter, as well as a written statement of interests and objectives. Applicants should be aware that the submission will not be returned. As part of the admission selection process, applicants must visit the Image Arts: Film Studies or the Image Arts: Photography Studies program page for details about the non-academic requirements.
  4. A non-academic assessment fee of $50 CDN (subject to change) is required and will be requested by Ryerson as applicable.
  5. Assessment will be made on the basis of academic performance, proficiency in communication skills, and creative potential, as demonstrated by the applicant’s history and submissions. 
  6. Applicants must choose their intended program at the time of application, i.e., Film Studies or Photography Studies. Application may be made to change programs after first year, but space is limited and will be filled on a competitive basis.
  7. Students wishing to study on a part-time basis, as well as Special or Auditing Students are not normally admitted to this program.
  8. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.

Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Graduates are capable of performing responsibly in the relevant industries as professionals in both creative and managerial positions, ranging from the commercial to the artistic and experimental.

The curriculum provides students with the necessary grounding to pursue graduate studies in a variety of media-related academic and artistic disciplines. The Film and Photography Studies Programs and the Integrated Digital Option provide an experiential education with a foundation in design, art history, and cultural studies.

There is a strong link between theory and practice in each of these programs. The curriculum is enhanced by a broad offering of liberal studies courses, and professional and professionally related electives. In the third year of the Film and Photography Programs students can decide to pursue the Integrated Digital Option. The focus of this Option is on cross-disciplinarity, hybridity and digital fluency.

The School of Image Arts houses both analogue and digital resources and students are expected to develop a professional proficiency in these tools. Access to facilities is governed by School policies and curriculum. Students will be required to own certain items of equipment appropriate to the program they enter. Please refer to the sections on Special Department Charges and on the Cost of Attending Ryerson in the Student Services portion of this calendar.

Film Studies Program

The Film Studies Program offers a comprehensive academic framework for undergraduate studies in the theory and practice of analogue and digital storytelling leading to career choices in the Canadian screen industries and to further study at the graduate level. The program emphasizes experiential learning and is designed to nurture personal visions that will contribute to the growth and diversity of Canadian culture, as well as enhancing Canada’s presence in international film and video. In addition, the program aims to create flexible, quick-thinking, highly adaptable film/video makers capable of working effectively in a variety of circumstances and roles. Graduates are equipped to take advantage of many different artistic and commercial opportunities in the world of visual communication.

Photography Studies Program

The Photography Studies Program offers an integrated academic framework for undergraduate studies in the theory and practice of photography and related media, leading to career possibilities in the many creative, artistic and commercial fields that use the photographic image, or to further study at the graduate level. The aim of the program is to produce graduates capable of working effectively in traditional and digital image-making systems. The curriculum is designed for maximum flexibility. The foundation years provide a base for working in an interdisciplinary mode at the upper year levels. An atmosphere of creative and critical inquiry across all four years gives students a rich awareness of the visual, aesthetic, technological, and cultural issues affecting the creation of images, as well as an enhanced appreciation of the rapid and radical changes occurring in the professions they will be entering.

Integrated Digital Option

The Integrated Digital (ID) Option is available to film and photography majors starting in third year. The Option is comprised of studio and lecture courses in image-based media and visual studies. The Option is designed to expand creative and analytical skills beyond the borders of film and photography. Areas such as multi-channel, titling, web-based image book design are among the many cross-platform, interactive art practices offered within the Integrated Digital Option.

Professional and Professionally-Related Courses

From second year, students choose electives from the professional and professionally related offerings. These courses are designed to enhance and deepen a student’s professional practice and critical-theoretical knowledge. For example, professional courses include studio and location lighting, sound design, art direction, screenwriting. Professionally related courses include advanced courses in photo and film history, visual culture, national cinemas, history of animation and gaming, curatorial practices and advanced topics in film and photo criticism.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

IRL 100, NPF 188 are not available for credit.  

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

IRL 500, PSY 713 and PSY 813 are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Film Studies - First Two Years Common

REQUIRED:

MPC 101 Visual Studies I
MPC 103 Art and the Classical Tradition
MPC 201 Concepts and Theories
MPC 203 Art in the Modern World
MPF 106 Film Production: Silent Film
MPF 107 Film Tools and Applications I
MPF 206 Film Production: Sound Film
MPF 290 Introduction to Film Studies

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED:

MPC 125 Visual Studies II
MPC 225 Visual Studies III
MPF 322 Film Production
MPF 324 Writing for Film I
MPF 327 Film History and Criticism to 1945
MPF 422 Film Production
MPF 423 Film Technology
MPF 427 Film History and Criticism since 1945

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program, Film Studies Option

REQUIRED:

MPF 300 Film Technology: Multi-Media
MPF 502 Film Production
MPF 505 Film Theory I
MPF 602 Film Production
MPF 604 Film Technology: Post-Production
MPF 605 Film Theory II

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

Revised curriculum begins 2017-2018.

REQUIRED:

MPF 42A/B Senior Project
MPF 301 Business of Film
MPF 801 Film: Capstone Lecture

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

MPF 42A/B has a GPA Weight of 3.00 and a Course Count of 2.00.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program, Film Studies/Integrated Digital Option

Revised 2017-2018 for students admitted Fall 2015 and after.

REQUIRED:

MPC 210 Introduction to Visual Culture
MPI 501 Production I
MPI 503 Technology for Integrated Digital Arts I
MPI 601 Production II
MPI 602 Media Languages: Old and New Vocabularies
MPI 603 Technology for Integrated Digital Arts II

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

First Offered 2017-2018.

REQUIRED:

MPI 71A/B Senior Thesis
MPF 301 Business of Film
MPF 801 Film: Capstone Lecture

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

MPI 71A/B has a GPA Weight of 2.00 and a Course Count of 2.00.

Photography Studies - First Two Years Common

REQUIRED:

MPC 101 Visual Studies I
MPC 103 Art and the Classical Tradition
MPC 201 Concepts and Theories
MPC 203 Art in the Modern World
MPS 106 Photography Production
MPS 107 Photography and Digital Imaging
MPS 206 Photography Production
MPS 207 Photography and the Web

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED:

MPC 125 Visual Studies II
MPC 225 Visual Studies III
MPS 301 History of Photography I
MPS 306 The Idea of Photography
MPS 307 The Photographic Print
MPS 308 Photography Production
MPS 407 The Photographic Studio
MPS 408 Photography Production

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program, Photography Studies Option

REQUIRED:

MPS 401 History of Photography II
MPS 406 The Visual Culture of Photography
MPS 506 Photography Production
MPS 507 The Photographic Book
MPS 606 Photography Production
MPS 607 The Expanded Image

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

Revised curriculum begins 2017-2018.

REQUIRED:

MPS 42A/B Senior Project
MPS 701 Topics in Photography
MPS 801 Contemporary Issues in Photography

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

MPS 42A/B has a GPA Weight of 3.00 and a Course Count of 2.00.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program, Photography Studies/Integrated Digital Option

Revised 2017-2018 for students admitted Fall 2015 and after.

REQUIRED:

MPC 210 Introduction to Visual Culture
MPI 501 Production I
MPI 503 Technology for Integrated Digital Arts I
MPI 601 Production II
MPI 602 Media Languages: Old and New Vocabularies
MPI 603 Technology for Integrated Digital Arts II

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

First offered 2017-2018.

REQUIRED:

MPI 71A/B Senior Thesis
MPS 701 Topics in Photography
MPS 801 Contemporary Issues in Photography

PROFESSIONAL: One course from Table I.

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table II.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

MPI 71A/B has a GPA Weight of 2.00 and a Course Count of 2.00.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Jan Allen
Chief Curator/Curator of Contemporary Art
Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Sean Farnel
Independent Film Programmer

Sylvia Frank
Director, Film Reference Library
TIFF Bell Lightbox

Vera Frenkel
Multidisciplinary Artist

Geoffrey James
Photographer/Writer

Patricia Rozema
Director/Screenwriter/Producer/Editor

Bonnie Rubenstein
Artistic Director
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto